Lois Bujold's newest book, The Hallowed Hunt, revists the world she brought vibrantly to life in Curse of Chalion and its Hugo-award-winning sequel, Paladin of Souls. She's exploring new areas in this one. It's not just a new setting--though readers of her previous books will enjoy references to the country on the other side of the mountains--but a new dilemma for her characters to wrestle with.
Ingrey, troubleshooter for the king's trusted minister, is tasked with bringing the body of a dead prince back home - and also to bring the young lady who killed him. The prince had given her good reason, but minor matters like justice have little weight when a royal house's honor and reputation are at stake. Ingrey is torn between his duty, his desire to do the right thing, and feelings which are new to him. Ijada is no help, frustrating his attempts to find a solution with her innocent faith in the honesty of the feudal court that will try her.
For most authors this would be a complicated enough plot to carry a book, or even a trilogy. But Bujold pulls her readers into a deeper look at these people and the land they live in. Their nation was formed by a centuries-old invasion and massacre, which left wounds still unhealed. This comes back to haunt the struggle over who will succeed the dying king, a struggle made even more bitter by the prince's death. Ingrey is caught in the middle and forced to confront the past that had turned him into a vicious killer. To save himself, Ijada, the kingdom, and the souls of many men caught up in a battle too large for them to comprehend, Ingrey must stand up to an enemy stronger and older than any he'd imagined, and find the strength to face the gods themselves.
(Read four sample chapters)